As straightforward as it gets - a ride through 3 countries.

In August last year I attempted my first SS1000, only to have my submission rejected as a shorter route could be found with the documentation I supplied. I know I did it but and I thought I'd provided enough documentation but I can understand the need for definite proof. Sooooo... on 1st September I attempted a similar ride again, slightly longer and the other way round. I was suitably armoured with Bubbla/Spotwaller this time as well to provide proof (PROOF I tell yer!) of the ride.
If you want an easy in to the SS1000 in Britain, this is as straightforward as it gets. The main circle is about 1030 miles and any distance taken getting to/from the circular route will just help. It passes close to Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, London, Nottingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. That surely is most of the population?

Leaving home about 0315 from the Yorkshire/Lancashire border I went to the first fuel point a couple of miles away and went through the fuel up/pay/take photo routine before heading out and on to the M65 towards the M6. The weather was dry, cool but not cold and absolutely perfect of a long distance ride.
So, cruise control on. M65, M6 south, M5, M50 and A40 towards Cardiff Coryton Services just off the M4. By 0730 I had 230 miles done. Motorway riding can be dull, dull, dull but at that time it was fine and the M50/A40 is a good ride. Now headed towards the Smoke along the M4 and the dread sigil odegra (the M25) to that most famous of services at Clacket Lane eastbound. I couldn't believe how much of a dump it is. At this point I'd been on the go for about 7 1\2 hours and was thinking how easy it was.
Two capitals down just one to go. The next bit doubled the time on the road - M25, M11, A14, A1/A1(M) up to sunny Berwick-upon-Tweed where Morrison's provided more go-juice and a sausage roll. This stop is necessary to verify the A1 route, as well as being cheap fuel compared to the motorway rip-offs. The A1 north over the border is a lovely ride when there's not too much traffic and views east over the North sea are great.
Up to this point the weather has been marvellous, dry and hitting 26C up the A1. As I approached Edinburgh it got darker and grimmer. The plan was to skirt the Scottish capital on the Edinburgh ring road and then head off towards Glasgow on the M8. As I hit the M8 (after narrowly avoiding being hit by a dozy driver on their phone) It started to rain. It drizzled, it spotted. It pissed it down in large spray-inducing quantities in poor light with some frankly crap driving witnessed. This was not fun. Not fun at all.
Coming off the M8 onto the A275 and then to the M74 south was just purgatory at speed however after visiting the services at Bothwell for gas the weather picked up - not nice but at least not raining. The Bothwell receipt is timed at 1900 so I'd been going for just shy of 16 hours. I felt remarkably good. No cramp, no backache but just getting weary. Now just the drag south back home. nearly there (yeah, right). Another 200 plus miles via Lancaster services to complete the tour of the three capitals (ish). Coming down the M74 and M6 the road was wet, it got dark and the headlights and taillights reflecting off the road were giving me a blinding headache. By the time I reached the final fuel stop I was ready to swear off long distance riding for ever.
Final fuel-up just for the receipt and the last couple of miles home. Total time 19 hours and 6 minutes. Distance ridden 1083 miles as logged by Spotwaller averaging 57 mph and still not crippled.
Never, never again. Until June when I'm doing the End to End sunrise/sunset as part of a 5 day jolly. When I spoke to the pub in Cornwall that I'll be staying at they asked where I was travelling from. When I said John O'Groats there was no surprise, just "Oh, you're one of them."
One of who?

The bike is a 2008 BMW R1200RT with (still) less than 30k on it. I cannot imagine a bike better for this sort of ride. Toys enough to help without overwhelming, heated grips for the cold bits and protection from the rain. And grunt. Lots of grunt. I love this bike.

The main circular ride (either direction, any entry point) Cardiff Coryton Services, M4 east, M25 anticlockwise, Clacket Lane Services, M11, A14, A1/A1(M), Berwick Morrison's services, A1, A720, M8, A275, M74, Bothwell Sevices, M74, M6, M5, M50, A40, M4 west to Coryton services.

It's a good, straightforward, fast ride (roadworks permitting) with easy navigation and only a bit dull. Just make sure you get the services mentioned above to verify the corners of the route. And I cannot recommend Bubbla/Spotwaller highly enough; useable even by a luddite like me.


Premier Member
Glad you persevered and hope this ride is approved. For sure if you get an IBA certificate you did the ride and can prove it, no if's, no but's, you did it. We have all had rides rejected and most have gone on and completed the ride correctly.

Love, light, and kindness,



IBAUK Webmaster
Staff member
Premier Member
IBA Member
Good for you sticking with it. Next you'll be saying things like "no, I'm not going to ride to Rome in one hit cos ..." and "no, I'm not just going to pop down to Biarritz and back" and then you'll start plotting long routes with minimal motorways and then you'll start trying to challenge yourself.

Welcome to insanity:cool: